Brutal Honesty: I have a facebook addiction

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A few nights ago, I successfully fell asleep in the middle of laying on the couch talking with A.  I woke up, picked myself up and managed to plop myself onto the bed.  An hour or so later, before A had gone to bed, I felt myself wake up and I felt a compelling need to check facebook before going to sleep.  I tried to get myself to stop, reminding myself that screen time right before bed isn't the best for sleeping, but to my dismay my curiosity and need to know about new notifications outweighed my rational process.  I got onto facebook and was still there an hour later.  A little concerned I went to bed, resolving to pay more attention to my feelings surrounding my facebook use the next few days.

I had always said that I don't use facebook that much and I think that used to be true, but now I've realized that it's bordering on an addiction.  Or, it's meeting some kind of need that I'm not otherwise getting.  Why am I compelled to post pictures on my page for everyone to see?  Why did I really need to post that status?  Why do all the "likes" and attention make me feel so good?  Am I using facebook as a crutch to substitute for real friendships?  Why am I jealous of the people who manage to delete their facebook accounts or go long periods of time without updating.

Time for some reflection and brutal honesty.  I think that maybe beginning with A's cancer, which was when I started getting insane numbers of "likes," comments, and social media attention, my relationship with facebook changed.  Now that I've moved to Texas, I don't have the same deep face-to-face relationships with people and, therefore, I think I've leaned more heavily on my electronic relationships and facebook validation.

This is really concerning.  What things have I not done because I've been happy feeling connected with people electronically?  Which actual face-to-face relationships have I felt less compelled to strengthen?  What projects have I not done after work because I was tired and just decided to get on facebook?  How many yoga classes have I skipped because I was tired and on the computer?  I'm not crazy.  I work-out almost everyday, cook dinner almost everyday, and I probably schedule something social a few times a week, but I am on facebook more than I want to be and I'm not easily able to control it.

Just admitting that was kind of hard because it contradicted my own perception of my identity.  Now that I've admitted that, though, the question is whether it's easily within my power to change that.  I don't link the whole "deleting your entire profile" thing, it's dramatic and I think there is a lot of value to that forum for staying in touch.  But, I do need to change my habits.  So, A is going to block facebook from our Internet until Sunday and I'm just going to see how it goes.  I'll still have access on my phone, so it isn't cold-turkey, but I've never sunk hours of time into facebook on my phone.

I'm going to observe how well I handle the removal and then try to make a plan.  I don't want hours of my life to drain away everyday because I'm zoning out on some random Internet website.  I'm hoping that the removal will just go really well and I'll make it easily, proving to myself that there really is no problem and that I can just implement a limited usage plan that will work easily.  I know myself a little better than that though and I have some anxiety about it.  I'm already a little curious about what notifications I've received in the past three hours.  I think going without the site until Sunday will be really hard.  That's what scares me.  I'm really interested to see how I fill my time otherwise.  Do I just surf around other Internet website or do I actually review our budget, cook a better dinner, and start organizing our file folders?

Only the next few days will tell.  Wish me luck!


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